Acomb Stakes (7f Group 3)

Noble Truth 11/4

Noble Truth pulled way too hard to do himself justice when finishing a credible third on debut behind subsequent July Stakes winner Lusail. Being so keen in the early stages meant that he struggled to compete with Lusail’s turn of foot that day but had plenty more zest in the finish next time up over course and distance when dismissing of today’s rival, Ehraz, impressively. As it was his first start, Ehraz is more than entitled to have come on leaps and bounds for that, and absolutely hacked up next time out at Ascot, but I get the sense that this boy also has considerable scope for improvement in him, having still looked pretty green despite winning decisively on that occasion. An exciting prospect in a warm event but I think this son of Kingman could prove a bit too good for today’s opposition.


Juddmonte International Stakes (1m 2 1/2f Group 1)

Mishriff 7/4

There are few more admirable horses in training than Mishriff, who deserves his place at the top of this year’s Juddmonte market. Having opened his account on the dirt this year when landing the world’s richest horse race, the Saudi Cup, and beating the American’s at their own game, he looked like he had the world at his feet, especially when mowing down the Dubai Sheema Classic field just over a month later. But, the likable colt has been stumped twice since by two extremely talented three-year-old's, the French Guineas/Derby winner St Mark’s Basilica in the Eclipse and then the English Derby hero Adayar in an epic King George VI Stakes.

He had to give lots of weight for age on those occasions and must do so again to five more highly thought of three year old’s, but in my opinion, this is a much better opportunity to get his head back in front. I anticipate a much better performance from Love today, but she’s still got it all to do to reverse the King George form, and I’m not convinced a mile and a quarter will see her to best effect for all that it’s bound to be set up to be a proper test. Another quality looking Group 1 but I think Gosden holds the aces here.



Lowther Stakes (6f Group 2)

Desert Dreamer 5/1

I have been very vocal regarding my affiliation with this filly and this again may be a little heart over head, but she’s shown all the attributes to suggest she’s more than capable of having her say in an event like this. In all if her starts she’s shown plenty of toe, and is usually last off the bridle when things get heated, but she’s yet to get her head in front since doubling her tally in novice company back in May.

She’s since gone come second in Listed, Group 2 and Group 3 company, with only a nose in it last time out at Ascot in the Group 3 Princess Margaret. As with her usual racing style, she will be flashing home late, but with Outside World and Misty Ayr likely to make it a test, it could well play into her hands. Desert Dreamer does have work to do with Sandrine based on the Duchess Of Cambridge run but she technically did get second run on the winner that day and, if getting the splits a little earlier, could give the Balding filly a lot more to think about.

A very likable filly who, despite having already run six times, I think she could yet prove to be a bit special.



Gimcrack Stakes (6f Group 2)

Gubbass 10/1 E/W

Lusail and Armor are clearly highly talented individuals and are more than worthy of their places towards the head of this market but I’m actually inclined to side with their bigger priced stablemate, Gubbass. Admittedly, the likelihood is that they won’t all show up but it wouldn’t surprise me if Hannon gives Gubbass the chance to improve on his Richmond 3rd, and with Armor and Lusail already boasting Group victories and representing the same owners, you’d imagine that they’ll likely opt to keep them separated, possibly opening the door for this fella to have a say.

Gubbass has done very little wrong to date, winning two of his three starts, taking his maiden before landing the Weatherby’s Super Sprint at Newbury then going down by half a length to Asymmetric at Goodwood. He seemed to take the step up to 6 furlongs in his stride and beat subsequent Group 1 scorer, Ebro River, in the process. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the son of Mehmas, who was forced widest of all as they reached the business end of affairs, seemingly veering even further right under the whip. Despite drifting, Gubbass lost little ground and for all Ebro River has bolstered the form, I think the winner is a very smart animal and this lad could do the form of that race another favour here.

One to keep an eye on, just hoping he goes...



City Of York Stakes (7f Group 2)

Space Blues 6/4

Space Blues made his first start since March when finishing a ¾ lengths 4th last time out in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood. After such a lengthy absence, it’s easy to make the case that he’s entitled to have needed the run and could well strip much fitter here. If so, Space Blues is an animal to make sure you stay on the right side of as I believe he is more than capable of replicating the level of form he reached at the back end of last summer when hitting a 121 RPR in the Prix Maurice de Gheest. It’s interesting that they opted against another trip to France, instead siding with the less valuable, and prestigious (Group 2), City Of York Stakes but this only boosts my confidence and he’s really something to look forward to.

The son of Dubawi showed plenty of promise in the Lennox, having come from last of all to mount his challenge. As the going got tough, the dominuitive chestnut looked to be coming there swinging but took a while to find for pressure in that ground. With 100 yards to go he seemed to find another gear and dramatically reduced the gap, while running widest of all, but wasn’t quite able to reach the leaders. The spark is clearly still there and remains an exciting prospect going into the Ebor festival.

I’ve long been a big fan of both Primo Bacio and Mutasaabeq but I’ll be more than impressed if either are able to live with this lad at his best.


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